chris marriott headshotChris Marriott is the President & Founder of Email Connect, a consultancy focused exclusively on the ESP vendor selection process. He is a recognized expert in the process of connecting leading brands with the right marketing technology partners and platforms.  

Prior to founding Email Connect, Chris served as a tenured executive at Acxiom, leading and building its Global Digital and Email Agency Services team into one of the industry’s top services providers.

He is a regular columnist on email marketing and the RFP process, and is an adviser to several emerging marketing technology companies including AudiencePoint and Shotzr. 

Follow and connect with Chris on LinkedIn; he is also on Twitter

3 Key Takeaways from the Top 1000/Top 100 E-Tailer ESPs market share.


Last month Only Influencers hosted a webinar presenting new research from Publicare Marketing Communications GmbH on the most popular ESPs for U.S. E-retailers. Jeanne Jennings moderated, with Marion Krohn and Rober Harnischmacher from Publicare presenting their findings; I was there too, to discuss the findings. You can watch the full 1-hour...

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Welcome Class of 2027


Many of us on the agency, consulting, and vendor sides of the email industry have been in the business for a decade or more. And if you’re like me, there are times when you think to yourself, “If I see one more article or sit through one more conference session on...

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How CDPs are Shaping the Next Evolution of ESPs


ESPs have been continuously evolving since they were first commercially introduced in the late 1990’s. And the evolution of the platform followed a similar pattern that continues to this day. A third party would determine that there was a feature or a function lacking in the existing ESPs and solve that...

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2023 State of the ESP RFP Survey Results and Conclusions


This is the third year that Only Influencers and Email Connect have conducted a brief survey with brands regarding their plans to switch vendors in the upcoming year. The survey was originally intended to measure the impact that COVID-19 had on brands’ plans to conduct ESP RFPs in 2020—2022. What we...

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4 Tales from the Request-for-Proposal (RFP) Crypt


I haven’t written recently about the Request-for-Proposal (RFP) process, but given that Halloween is right around the corner, this seemed like as good a time as any to revisit the RFP Crypt and share some examples of RFP horror!  Before sharing some of the scariest RFP stories around, I think we...

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ESPs and CDPs Have Collided. Get Ready for ESCDPs!


I wrote the following back in June of 2020: …let’s take a look at what a CDP is supposed to do. 1. Data Aggregation : Organize all customer data and keep it available for immediate use. Some technical resources are required to set up and maintain the CDP, but they don’t...

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Should You Build Your Own ESP?


The decision of whether to build your own email solution or outsource to a vendor can have serious consequences for the future of your email marketing. It’s not a decision to be made hastily before giving it some serious thought. Reading the rest of this post is a great place to...

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2022 State of the ESP RFP Survey Results and Conclusions


In late 2020, Email Connect and Only Influencers put out our first survey of the RFP landscape. We were interested in looking at the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on brands’ plans for ESP RFPs during 2020. Among our survey respondents, 40% of those who had originally planned to conduct an...

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4 Trends Shaping the ESP Vendor Landscape for 2022


The recent announcement that Cheetah Digital and CM Group (Sailthru, Selligent, Campaign Monitor, etc.) are combining forces is just the latest example of the changes rippling through the ESP vendor landscape over the last several years. In the last 12 months, dating back to November 2020, we have witnessed the following:...

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Email Marketing’s Next Secret Weapon:  Loyalty Programs


10 years ago, a former boss of mine, who I greatly respect to this day, and I were discussing in which direction I should take my career.  He was strongly of the opinion that the brightest future lay in adtech, and that martech, and email marketing specifically, was becoming passe.  In...

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What should you be paying for your email marketing program?


Part 1—What are the latest trends in pricing models? No one sees more pricing proposals from vendors than we do at Email Connect. As part of the management of our clients’ RFPs, we ask for and compare pricing proposals from the competing vendors. I’m willing to bet that we see more...

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2021 State of the ESP RFP Survey Results and Conclusions


In late December of 2020 I created a short survey to gather data on the impact of COVID-19 on ESP RFP plans for email marketers in 2020. I also included some questions pertaining to what platform features and functions email marketers in 2020/2021 are most interested in exploring in their RFPs....

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Worlds Collide: The Head-on Crash of CDPs and ESPs


Any discussion of the features and functionality of ESPs vs. CDPs needs to start with the ESP platforms. ESPs have been around in one form or another for over 20 years, and it should be well-estalbished these days as to what constitutes an ESP. Ah, if only it were so easy....

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The Store to Door Theory of Marketing


I found myself recently opening a package that had been delivered to my front door. Inside the box was a chain. You know, the kind that you use with a padlock to lock a bike or other object, to prevent its theft. That was it, a chain. I had ordered it...

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The 10 Best Email Messages of 2019


The team at Email Connect spends our days working with leading brands to help them through the ESP vendor selection process. But when the sun goes down (OK, sometimes even before that) we become consumers and email subscribers like everyone else. Because of the business we are in, individually and collectively...

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Marriott: Who Should Be the Key Decision-makers in Your Next ESP RFP?


Much has changed in the world of email marketing in the last 15 years.  Volumes are up, revenues are up, CPMs are down-and those are just a few of the big changes in the industry.  But one of the biggest changes is in the nature of the vendor/client relationships themselves. Specifically,...

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Marriott: The 10 Best Emails of 2018


At Marketing Democracy we’re all about email marketing.  We work with some of the biggest email marketers in the industry helping them navigate the complex and critical ESP vendor selection process.  But when we’re done for the day guiding our clients, we revert to being consumers and email subscribers like everyone...

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Poll Results: What Would You Do To Lower Your Email Sending Cost?


We’ve all watched CPMs for email drop dramatically over the last five years.  But it seems that no matter how low CPMs go, marketers keep pushing for lower pricing. If this keeps up, it won’t be too long before ESPs will have to pay marketers to send their emails in order...

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4 Common but Serious Email RFP Mistakes


RFPs have real consequences for your company, and possibly for your job. Here’s a list of 4 of the most common mistakes we’ve encountered when being be hired to salvage an email RFP.

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The New Rules of Email Subscriber Acquisition


For as long as marketers have been using email, email subscriber acquisition has been an important element of successful programs. The larger an email list, the greater the revenue opportunity. The more addresses a marketer acquires, the better chance he or she has of bringing on some great new customers.

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